November 8, 2009 § 3 Comments
As a much lower-effort alternative to a dinner party, I recently threw a wine and cheese. The occasion, you might ask? The occasion is that I like wine and I like cheese. And it takes very little for me to find an excuse to enjoy them.
Anyhow, I think I’ve hit upon something excellent, because a wine and cheese is in many ways the perfect social gathering. It’s low-key and relaxed, and it’s big enough to invite everyone you want to see while not being so big that you hate yourself in the morning when you realize you have to clean. Also, it’s extremely easy. You buy some wine and cheese and crackers, and then you are done.
The gathering was lovely, but even lovelier was the fact that I was left with – count them – eleven different varieties of cheese! I’ve been eating a lot of cheese sandwiches. And, fantastic as they are, I felt the need to jazz them up a bit. Enter the roasted red pepper relish.
I never really understood why my sandwiches weren’t as tasty as the ones you buy from proper sandwich shops. Now I know: you need good condiments. I highly recommend it with brie and cucumber, which was my choice, but honestly it would go well with pretty much anything.
The only way this could be better is if I had a panini press (which I firmly believe would improve my general quality of life). Or potentially by using home-baked bread, which should probably be the topic of a future post!
Roasted Red Pepper Relish – adapted from Epicurious
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12-ounce jar roasted sweet red peppers, rinsed, drained, patted dry,chopped (or two red peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- dash cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add red peppers and sauté 2 minutes. Add onions and sauté 3 mintues. Add garlic and cook until onions are tender, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
Mix vinegar, sugar, and mustard in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir vinegar mixture into red peppers. Mix in cayenne pepper. Season with salt. Continue cooking relish until all liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Note: this recipe doesn’t make a huge quantity: I did that on purpose as I am only one person and there is only so much relish I can reasonably be expected to eat. If you’re making this for several people, though, you might want to double the recipe – it’s always easy to find uses for any extra.